Monday, January 9, 2012

[HOT LIST] NAIAS Charity Preview

Joe Muer Seafood Piano Bar. Photo from Joe Muer Seafood.

Stay classy, Detroit. The North American International Auto Show Charity Preview - being held this year on Friday, January 13 - is the swankiest night of the year. Metro Detroiters young and old (and, at $250 a head, also probably rich, or at least "doing well") get all gussied up in their fineries and hit the town for what ends up being a sloppy drunken sh*tshow, but a sloppy drunken sh*tshow in really, really nice clothes. The NAIAS Charity Preview has less to do with the cars than the clothes; this is all about the faces, fashion, and - inevitably - the food. Well, drink. But also food. This is a night to feel all shiny and special, so here's some of the shiniest, most special places to party after the show (or in lieu of it).

#1 The Rattlesnake Club, Detroit
The Rattlesnake Club has really been coming back into its glorious own recently, with revamped menus, a revamped interior, and a soon-to-launch revamped happy hour. For the NAIAS Charity Preview, they'll be offering a prix fixe menu and will play host to a restaurant full of VIPs. It will all start with a plethora of hors d'oervres at each table; Marketing Director Alexandria Franz says "everyone basically gets their own raw bar and several different hot hors d’eovures too. It’s somewhat of a spectacle!" And that's just the precursor to the sumptuous dinner that follows. They're almost sold out for the evening, so make your reservations now: 313-567-4400.

#2 Wolfgang Puck Grille, Detroit
Yours truly just interviewed Mr. Puck for Ambassador Magazine, and in addition to talking about food, I also discovered that he is also quite the car buff. Before moving to America at age 25, he thought everyone here was rich because they all drove around in big Cadillacs. He wanted desperately to own one himself one day ... he achieved that, and then some. He's in town right now for the NAIAS; you might be able to spot him at his restaurant inside the MGM Grand Detroit, but even if not, Executive Chef Marc Djozlija will be serving up the same stellar cuisine that has made this one of Detroit's few AAA four-diamond-rated restaurants.

This pretty much sums it up. From StyleLine Magazine.
#3 Joe Muer Seafood, Detroit
One of the splashiest restaurant openings of 2011, Joe Muer Seafood inside the Renaissance Center is offering a five-course prix fixe menu for $100 per person. Or skip dinner and grab a drink in the retro-nostalgic Joe Muer Lounge, the swingin' Piano Bar, or have a bite at the sleek blue granite sushi bar.

#4 Bacco Ristorante, Southfield
James Beard Award nominee Luciano del Signore, owner and Executive Chef of Bacco Ristorante in Southfield, has been regularly playing host to the richest and most famous-est of metro Detroit in this fine dining flagship since 2002. Enjoy his signature nouveau Italian cuisine in a colorful, contemporary atmosphere reminiscent of the Italian countryside in the summertime (even in the midst of a Michigan winter). There's no special menu for the NAIAS, but there doesn't need to be.

#5 Motor City Wine
, Detroit
It might not be the first place that comes to mind for a swank Auto Show after-party, but one look at the dramatic red walls lined with an eclectic selection of boutique wines paired with the funky jazz sounds of the B. Williams Experiment and you'll know there ain't no party like an MCW party. The B. Williams Experiment is led by the Grammy-nominated Brandon Williams on drums (who has produced for Janet Jackson and Rihanna). Influences range from Coltrane to Radiohead to J. Dilla; feel like a boss for only $5.

Bubbling under
DUO Restaurant and Lounge (Southfield), Mosaic (Detroit), Cliff Bell's (Detroit), Angelina Italian Bistro (Detroit), Coach Insignia (Detroit), 24grille (Detroit), Roast (Detroit), Detroit Seafood Market (Detroit), Chen Chow (Birmingham)